Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thinking about Hunger Feelings

"There is also evidence that their hunger is more intense. Kolata notes that the food-obsessed, sneaky, guilt-ridden behavior of fat people on diets is similar to the behavior of thin experimental subjects who are deliberately underfed. “A lot of thin people think that because they can skip a meal and feel a bit hungry, everyone can do the same,” one obesity researcher tells her. “They assume the sensation of hunger is the same for everyone.” They’re wrong, says Kolata: “Fat people are fat because their drive to eat is very different from the drive in thin people.” link

Wait, really? I am reading a review contrasting two books, not the books themselves and not the studies they're based on, so I am like 3 degrees separated from whatever study they're using, but that is still a very interesting idea. I do not fall into either group; I am ordinary weight. I don't know that I have ever felt intense hunger. That actually sounds like a terrible experience. By the time I start to feel constantly hungry, which is only after more than 3 days off solid foods, I always feel very zen and also sort of tired, and not up to feeling anything intensely. After 5 days without food, which is the most I have ever done, I don't feel hungry in my body at all, but I do start really feeling less with it (kind of tipsy and fragile, and when I did this in winter I felt reeeally cold) and so I stop. So either I don't have the capacity for intense hunger or I feel it as other non-hunger symptoms (like being cold). Oh, wait, my regular hunger (this is such a terrible explanation. I am not making any sense.) is either "hey, it's morning, what is there for food?" and thus not a physical feeling at all, or it is like my stomach feels kind of empty but it doesn't harm me or bother me. Anyway, the point is I do not mind going without food if I have planned on it or am too busy. Going without food because of poor planning or there is no good food available is different because it makes me angry. Well that was a huge diversion from why this is interesting. I know kind of that people experience hunger differently (they have different favorite foods and different meal schedules, so why not different hunger?) but I had not expected that whole groups of people grouped by body weight did notice a difference in their "drive to eat."

The article also says "Likewise, thin people have fewer fat cells, and when they gain weight the cells don’t multiply; they just expand. Partly because of the signals sent by these fat cells, but also because of how those signals are conveyed to and interpreted by the brain, obese people do not feel satiated as soon as thin people do."
Is that true? Signals from fat cells? In an entirely medieval way* I am going to speculate that it could totally be having different kinds of stomachs, because that is where you feel hungry, instead of fat cells because those are all over under your skin (and also you can have fat cells in among your organs, but I don't know exactly what that means or who has that). Oh, I suppose to test it you could ask people who'd had liposuction (it takes out fat with a pump, it is dangerous. Blood you can do because it is liquid and meant to go through veins, but fat I think is solid ish and hard to get out.) whether they felt satiated faster than before. In fact probably someone has done that.

Okay also, I think the second sentence of the quote is worded badly because it almost contradicts the rest of it.

*I like intuitive medieval thinking. Physics was like mind blowing, everything you would expect, like that things are held in their orbit by tiny invisible strings, is totally wrong. If you spin something, say a shot put, around in a circle over and over, it will not remember to stay in the circle once you let it go! It will fly away straight in the last direction it was heading before you let go!!! There's a conceptual problem, where you shoot a monkey, and you have to decide to shoot it or shoot below it, because it is going to fall... and you shoot below it! Because of gravity! It even works on small things that have horizontal velocity. Also? If you shoot up a bullet, it will come down with the same velocity. So you should only shoot at the ground or at targets. Also there was all kinds of amazing stuff with wedges and stuff. Torque. I don't know what all. I should audit a physics class, that stuff was amazing.

1 comment:

andy said...

Chicago liposuction

Nice article.I like to read it.I have also enjoy while reading this. I think drive to eat is very different from the drive in thin people.